Spin Control

Firearms Freedom law prospects dim

OLYMPIA -- A bill to exempt firearms made and sold in Washington from federal gun laws was introduced by 10 House Republicans today, but their leader said it's unlikely the bill will come to a vote, let alone become law.

A bill titled the Firearms Freedom Act would exempt "personal firearms," as well as ammunition and accessories. that are made in Washington and stay within the state's borders from current or future federal restrictions and registration.

Any federal ban on semi-automatic weapons couldn't be enforced, under House Bill 1371. Local officials wouldn't be able to enforce federal laws, and federal officials who tried could face penalties up to five years in jail or a $10,000 fine. During a declared state of emergency, a governor couldn't restrict the possession, sale or transfer of personal firearms.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Spokane-area legislators Matt Shea and Larry Crouse of Spokane Valley, Joe Schmick of Colfax and Shelly Short of Addy.

House Republican Leader Richard Debolt of Chehalis said Thursday that while most members of the GOP caucus support firearms freedom, there's no official position on HB 1371. The bill has little prospect for passage because it "wouldn't do very well" in Democratic-controlled House.

There may be some legislation regarding gun control House Republicans will support this session, DeBolt said, but it's likely to be stiffer penalties for juveniles who use firearms during a crime.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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